Chili Boats - Venison Burger Chili

Chili Boats – A sweet and Spicy Venison Burger Chili Recipe You’ll Love

This basic venison burger chili recipe has gone through many variations over the years.  It started out as John’s Ten Minute Lunch, and I know I published it in one of my wild game cookbooks, but can’t find it.  (It was probably 20 years ago, at least.) We’ve added nopalitos at times, Anaheim peppers at times, sometimes added beef broth, sometimes not.  In short, we rarely make it the same way twice, but it’s a go-to fast lunch when time has gotten away from us.  John opens the cans and starts the meat, I chop the veggies, and we’re sitting down in less time than it takes to explain all this.  FYI: this is a big game recipe—any big game.

In the meantime, I am making up for lost time with sweet potatoes.  Being from the north, we never had sweet potatoes at home.  And my first introduction to them was the ubiquitous sweet potato casserole dressed with lots and lots of brown sugar and mini marshmallows.  Being the daughter of a woman who was always on a diet, I’d never eaten that at home either.  But several years ago, I developed an allergy to dairy—since cured—and couldn’t put butter or sour cream on my baked potato.  Somebody suggested sweet potatoes, and so began my love affair with them because, with just a bit of salt and pepper, they satisfied my craving for richer food.  (When I was really craving butter I’d add good grapeseed oil, which fixed that.)

Even when I was cured of the dairy allergy, I’d turn to sweet potatoes for comfort food. (Well, sweet potatoes and salted caramel extra fat ice cream.) It was a natural that eventually I’d try to slide a sweet potato onto every plate, but this variation is beyond any expectations I had.  The sweetness of the potato lets me amp up the heat in the chili and together they’re a touch-every-taste-bud home run. So, please give it a try.  You cook them the same way you cook ‘real’ potatoes, and they’re healthier:  more Vitamin A, lower glycemic index (if you’re diabetic you know what GI means), and have rich flavor not requiring fatty enhancements.

Most stores sell what they refer to as yams and sweet potatoes. The yam is moister, a little less flavorful and paler in both flesh and skin than a sweet potato. The sweet potato has deep orange flesh and darker skin.  And a rule of thumb? My spread out hand is a smidge over 8  inches from the tip of my pinky to the tip of my thumb.  That’s about the size sweet potato I used for this recipe.  At 8” they also weighed just under a pound. Keeping them a similar size means they’ll all be done at the same time.  Suggestions for when they’re done are in step 1 of the recipe. The chili spice mixture after step 5.

Chili Boats – A Delicious Venison Burger Chili Recipe

Makes 6 cups/1 ½ quarts of chili/serves 12 small appetites or 6 large ones

Ingredients

  • 6 sweet potatoes/yams, about 8” long

Chili Spice Mixture*

  • 3-4 tablespoons oil
  • 1 pound ground venison burger
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can black beans, 15 ounces
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes, 14/5 ounce each
  • 1 tablespoon beef base (reduced sodium)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese to serve
  1. At least one hour ahead of time, preheat the oven to 350F.  Wash and dry the sweet potatoes, trim the ends, and poke each 3-4 times with a paring knife.  Place in the oven and cook until at least one of the sweet potatoes starts ‘leaking,’ or they are fork tender, about 1 hour.  Combine the spices in the chili spice mix in a glass jar and set aside.While the potatoes are cooking you can also chop the onion and garlic in a mini-chopper (3-4 pulses for each batch), rinse and drain the beans in a colander, and grate the cheese.
  2.  In a 3 quart enameled Dutch oven (D.O.), heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium to medium-high heat. Brown the ground venison in batches, using more oil as necessary. Transfer the meat to a bowl as you brown it.
  3. Add a bit more oil to the D.O. add the onion and garlic and sauté until the edges are lightly browned.  Return the ground venison to the pot, add the chili spice mixture and give it all a good stir so every bit of meat, onion, and garlic is coated with it.
  4. Add the black beans, tomatoes, beef base and tomato paste to the pot, turn the heat up and bring the chili up to a simmer.  Lower the heat so that the chili stays at a slow simmer, for 20-30 minutes.
  5. To serve: slice each sweet potato in half length-wise, and place skin side down on a plate.   Spoon ½ cup of chili on a half for light eaters, or 1 whole cup on 2 halves for big eaters, and top with grated cheese. Need more? How about some hot cornbread on the side, dripping with butter? That’ll work!

Chili Spice Mix*

  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon hot smoked paprika
  • 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground oregano powder
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
Chili Boats: A sweet and Spicy Venison Burger Chili Recipe | Rifles and Recipes

Your entire family is sure to love this sweet and spicy venison burger chili recipe. Try it tonight!

Type: main dish

Cuisine: American

Keywords: venison burger, venison chili

Recipe Yield: 6 large servings

Recipe Ingredients:

Recipe Instructions: 1. At least one hour ahead of time, preheat the oven to 350F. Wash and dry the sweet potatoes, trim the ends, and poke each 3-4 times with a paring knife. Place in the oven and cook until at least one of the sweet potatoes starts ‘leaking,’ or they are fork tender, about 1 hour. Combine the spices in the chili spice mix in a glass jar and set aside. While the potatoes are cooking you can also chop the onion and garlic in a mini-chopper (3-4 pulses for each batch), rinse and drain the beans in a colander, and grate the cheese. 2. In a 3 quart enameled Dutch oven (D.O.), heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium to medium-high heat. Brown the ground venison in batches, using more oil as necessary. Transfer the meat to a bowl as you brown it. 3. Add a bit more oil to the D.O. add the onion and garlic and sauté until the edges are lightly browned. Return the ground venison to the pot, add the chili spice mixture and give it all a good stir so every bit of meat, onion, and garlic is coated with it. 4. Add the black beans, tomatoes, beef base and tomato paste to the pot, turn the heat up and bring the chili up to a simmer. Lower the heat so that the chili stays at a slow simmer, for 20-30 minutes. 5. To serve: slice each sweet potato in half length-wise, and place skin side down on a plate. Spoon ½ cup of chili on a half for light eaters, or 1 whole cup on 2 halves for big eaters, and top with grated cheese. Need more? How about some hot cornbread on the side, dripping with butter? That’ll work!

Editor's Rating:
5
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